Thursday, 7 November 2013

Cherry Chimes speaks to Burnley's No Nay Never website

Burnley v AFCB preview
Website Interview
Cherry Chimes speaks to No Nay Never

We thought we would have a little break from tradition and feature Rival Lines on our main page before letting it rest in its usual place. I felt this feature also deserved more of a spotlight because it is one of the matches that we have all been so looking forward to. Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall may have mixed emotions this weekend, but I am sure they will have nothing more on their minds than trying to bring back three points to the south coast.

Cherry Chimes has been stacking up many of these Rival Lines features now and they are great for me to do because it gets me in touch with fanatical supporters of other clubs in the Championship. As you can see we are talking to Jamie Smith author of No Nay Never this week. The popular Burnley website has become the number one focal point for Claret fans to find our what is happening with their club and most of this season's news has been pretty good reading for so far them. 

CC: Burnley have had an incredible run of success but the signs were there in pre-season weren't they? 

NNN: There were positive signs, but you can never assume pre-season form will roll over when you're playing for points. I thought losing Austin just before the season started would have had a bigger impact but we've barely noticed his absence. We're playing some great stuff right now and we have to be talked about as genuine promotion contenders.

CC: Has Sean Dyche been the main factor for Burnley's rise or is it a combination of things?

NNN: Sean is doing a fantastic job considering all his signings this summer were frees and other clubs were splashing money they don't have, as usual. He's got the players incredibly fit and this is key to the high pressing style we're playing. Teams don't get a moment's peace against us. Whether we can keep this up with a small squad all season is another question. Nobody predicted Vokes and Ings would score so many and them stepping up has been a huge factor in our early season form.

CC: What is the atmosphere like at Turf Moor at the moment - it must be quite intimidating for visiting away fans?

Mmmm not really no. The atmosphere has been quite poor at Turf Moor for a while now - many people have been priced out by £30+ tickets. But the last couple of crowds have been bigger and hopefully people will start turning up again to see a winning team playing lovely football. It was a decent atmosphere against QPR, more like old times, but I'm not expecting Bournemouth to bring a large following so it could be quiet. We'll be expecting to win so a slow start could see impatient fans start to get flustered.

CC: If Burnley do go up are there any plans for a new stadium and would this be money well spent?

NNN: Certainly not a new stadium but there will be changes at Turf Moor to bring it up to meet Premier League regulations. We can't fill the Turf as it is so there's no point building another ground. Two of the stands are getting old and need replacing though, so perhaps something could happen with the PL money IF we go up.

CC: Danny Ings had been injured for most of last season, but he is making up for it now. You must be glad AFC Bournemouth did not succeed in making a successful bid for him last summer?

NNN: Absolutely. There were plenty of people saying we should sell as he'd done so little, but it's a good job we kept him. He's been fantastic. He hasn't really looked a goalscorer until this season but he's been tremendous, absolutely top class, and well deserving of his England under-21s call up.

CC: Who is most important for you to hold on to in January, Sam Vokes or Danny Ings? 

NNN: Tough one. If Ings goes we have a couple of players who could fill in short term, but we have no replacement for Vokes. We'd struggle if either went to be honest, but I'd hope we can fend off any offers if we're still at the top end of the table.

CC: This game will see the return of Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall to Turf Moor. What kind of reception do you think they will receive from Burnley fans?

NNN: Probably mixed. Some appreciate the effort he put in at Turf Moor - most of the current team were his signings - but the way he left upset some and the comments he made to the Guardian were ill-advised at best. Personally I always liked him and it was a shame he wanted to go back to Bournemouth, but it seems to have worked out well for everyone all round. We've not missed him, but I wish him all the best.

CC: If Burnley slipped out of the automatic promotion places into the play-off places in May would you still be happy with that considering where you are now and the strong teams behind you? 

NNN: Probably yeah. I think only one team that's been top at this time of year in the last ten seasons has finished outside the top six, so that has to be the goal now. QPR are certs to go up so the challenge is sticking with them and Leicester are going well too. I'd take sixth spot if you offered it now - there's not enough cover in the squad so a couple of injuries could kill us.

CC: Vokes and Ings have been getting all the headlines but who else is playing particularly well at Burnley?

NNN: The front two have been excellent but nobody has been poor. Scott Arfield has surprised everyone by becoming a really important part of the team and chipping in with a few goals. Jason Shackell has been magnificent at the back. Kieran Trippier and Ben Mee are both very good full-backs. David Jones has been terrific in midfield as well.

CC: Have any of your summer signings made a difference, I imagine Dyche has brought in a few players?

NNN: Tom Heaton has started really well in goal, though he's been so well protected he often barely gets a touch of the ball. Arfield, as I mentioned, has been the surprise package. Jones has been the best of the lot for me - a real improvement on Chris McCann, we basically did a swap with Wigan - so calm and assured in midfield, rarely wastes a pass. Looks a class above.

CC: Who is your best defender this season?

Shackell by miles. In fact I wouldn't swap him for anyone in the league. Been superb since he got fully fit and looks a bargain at the £1m Howe paid for him (after waiting a year). He's a Premier League player for me, no doubt about it.

CC: Brighton, Bolton and Blackburn are the only three teams to get points off Burnley this season but were they the best teams you have played?

NNN: Brighton was a funny one as Heaton was ridiculously sent off so it's hard to judge and they've been quite poor this season. I thought Bolton looked a good side but they've struggled, they were among my tips for promotion actually so that shows how much I know. We deserved to beat Rovers and they got a scabby equaliser. So no, not really! Reading and QPR were a level above those three but we beat them both at home easily - those victories were a clear sign we have something about us this year.

CC: I am sure your mascot Bertie Bee will be on his best behaviour for Bournemouth's visit but he was given his marching orders for offering some glasses to an assistant referee in the QPR game. Is he always that helpful to the officials? 

NNN: Ha, that was a great moment. Bertie usually keeps out of trouble but he's had his moments - he memorably rugby-tackled a streaker during a Preston match one year so worth keeping an eye on him.

Fantastic. I do like a club that enjoys its football and Burnley has something to be proud of at the moment. To be honest it gives me hope that some of the smaller town clubs can do well in the Championship with good management and players that give 100 per cent. 

Burnley are setting the standards for other to try and beat and all I can say is well done to all at the club for making a great start to the season. Lastly, thank you Jamie for some great answers and lots of insight for AFCB fans ahead of the game. Please take a look at the No Nay Never website, it is certainly one of the best Championship sites and you'll find a piece on Eddie Howe there at the moment.

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